The people of Bangladesh's Taraganj region will have better medical care, thanks to a U.S.-Bangladesh Medical Civil Action Program that that opened August 18 at the Taraganj Regional Clinic. This joint U.S.-Bangladesh humanitarian assistance program will provide free basic medical and dental care to over ten-thousand Bangladeshis in the Rangpur District during the ten-day exercise at three clinics in Rangpur.
Medical care is provided by the U.S. Navy and Marines Corps, in cooperation with the Bangladesh Army Medical Detachment. The purpose of the exercise is to provide humanitarian assistance to Bangladesh as well as to further enhance interoperability between the U.S. and Bangladesh militaries.
The Medical Civil Action Program, or MECAP, is just one of the many ways the U.S. is assisting development in Bangladesh. After attending the MEDCAP opening, U.S. Ambassador to Bangladesh James Moriarty met with students and faculty at the Sathgara Baitul Mukarram Kamil Madrassa in Rangpur. This madrassa has consistently been selected by the Bangladesh government as one of the top ten in Bangladesh. Ambassador Moriarty presented a selection of books and materials on democratic governance to the madrassa. The U.S. government continues to support education programs for secondary and higher secondary level madrassa students through the Access English Micro Scholarship Program and also provides training for madrassa teachers and Imams.
Ambassador Moriarty also visited a U.S. government-funded Social Marketing Company Blue Star Pharmacy. The Social Marketing Company's Blue Star Social Franchising Program is a network of 3,650 community-based private health service providers, including trained graduate and non-graduate medical practitioners, nurses, midwives and pharmacists. Supported by the United States Agency for International Development, Blue Star promotes awareness and use of socially beneficial services and products. Blue Star also provides family planning counseling and dispenses family planning products.
The U.S. government has provided more than five-billion dollars in development assistance to Bangladesh since 1971. That assistance includes support for free, fair and credible elections and transparent and accountable governance. It also provides assistance for a better educated, healthier and more productive Bangladeshi people.